News moves fast in agrifoodtech, and high-profile job changes are no exception. To help keep everyone up to speed on the latest people moves in the world of food and ag, AFN publishes a monthly column to compile all the significant moves we can find.
These are tough times for most businesses, including those in food and agtech. A shorter list of high-profile personnel moves this month reflects that. Nonetheless, there were a few notable transitions, including a new CEO for the Upcycled Foods Association and an all-out shuffle for executives at Beyond Meat.
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Beyond Meat’s executive exodus
Besides laying off 19% of its workforce, the plant-based meat maker saw three executives leave over the past month. One shouldn’t surprise too much: COO Doug Ramsey was previously suspended following a road rage-related arrest. He’s now permanently out.
Ditto for CFO and treasurer Phil Hardin, who is “stepping down to pursue another opportunity,” according to a SEC filing. “His decision did not involve any disagreement on any matter related to the Company’s operations, financial reporting, internal controls, policies or practices,” the filing states.
It also notes that chief growth officer Deanna Jurgens is leaving “as part of the reduction in force” at Beyond Meat. The company has eliminated her position.
General Mills vet joins agtech solutions company Ever.Ag
John Church spent decades at General Mills across a variety of roles including chief transformation and enterprise services officer and executive vice president of supply chain. He’s especially known his work in sustainability, food security and ESG initiatives for the company.
“John has a deep understanding of the agricultural supply chain and how key stakeholders, including cooperatives, producers, and CPGs, can work together successfully. He is a tremendous addition to the team,” Ever.Ag CEO Scott Sexton said in a statement.
New CEO for Upcycled Food Association
The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) promoted Angie Crone to interim CEO from her role as the company’s head of programs. Crone previously worked for online grocer Imperfect Foods and was the interim head of consumer packed goods for Fair Trade USA.
UFA’s current CEO and co-founder, Turner Wyatt, is stepping down as CEO and transitioning to the role of strategic advisor. According to a press release, he is also “sentimentally departing UFA to start farming with his partner in Colorado.”
Recent layoffs in foodtech and agtech
Executive turnover may be low, but layoffs are alive and well in the food and ag industries, unfortunately. In addition to Beyond’s aforementioned layoffs, those include:
- Meal kit company HelloFresh conducted mass layoffs and shut down its SF Bay Area facility.
- GoPuff canned 250 more employees as instant grocery continues to flail.
- Impossible Foods laid off 6% of employees.
- Iron Ox cut 50% of its workforce this week.
- Fifth Season cut 100% of its employees when the company shut down last week.